How To Fix Snake Plant Yellowing Leaves? Expert Tips

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The snake plant (Dracaena trifasciata, formerly Sansevieria trifasciata) is one of the most common houseplants.  With its long, elegant leaves, this hardy, low-maintenance plant is a go-to for any indoor space. But even the leaves of this plant can turn yellow.

The occasional yellow leaf is nothing to worry about. Even some types of snake plants are known for the attractive yellow borders on their foliage.

Snake Plant Yellowing Leaves

I also have faced this problem and found some common reasons. So read the article if you want to fix snake plant yellowing leaves in proven ways.

Main Facts:

  • There are 6 common reasons for yellowing leaves in your snake plants.
  • Overwatering is the main culprit of yellowing leaves. 
  • You might water every 3-4 weeks during the growing season to skip yellowing leaves.

Why Snake Plant Yellowing Leaves?

Snake plants are known for their resilience in difficult environments. But sometimes it can feel stressed and show some signs, including yellow leaves. 

Luckily, there are 6 common reasons for yellowing leaves in your snake plants. And most can be easily addressed. These are the possible culprits:

Why Snake Plant Yellowing Leaves
  • Improper watering
  • Inadequate light
  • Natural Leaf Aging
  • Repotting Stress
  • Nutrient Deficiency or Imbalance
  • Physical Damage

This yellow leaves problem can arise differently in different environments. And not all these reasons are responsible at once. Let’s break down the possible issues and their reasons: 

Snake Plant Yellow Leaves At Base

This is often a natural occurrence. Lower leaves simply age and die off as new growth emerges higher on the plant.  These leaves will typically turn yellow at the base and gradually progress upwards.  

You can remove these leaves once they are completely yellow by gently pulling them downwards and wiggling them slightly.

Wait, there is a consideration. If multiple leaves of a snake plant turning yellow and crispy and progress quickly, it could be a sign of overwatering. Check the soil moisture level. If the soil is soggy, stop watering. Don’t water again before it completely dries out. 

Snake Plant Yellow Leaves Underwater

While less common than overwatering, underwatering can also cause yellowing leaves. particularly on the lower leaves.  The leaves may also appear dry and crispy. 

Check the soil moisture regularly. You can do it with your finger. Keep your finger 1-2 inches dipper in the soil. If it feels dry, consider watering. A good rule of thumb to watering is once a week. 

Snake Plant Yellow Leaves After Repotting

Liten, some snake plant yellowing leaves after repotting is normal. Because the plant adjusts to its new environment. So don’t be worried. This should subside within a few weeks. 

Ensure the new pot has drainage holes and use a well-draining potting mix suitable for succulents.  Avoid overwatering during this adjustment while reporting snake plants.

Snake Plant Leaves Yellow And Wrinkled

Yellowing leaves that are also wrinkled or curled can be caused by:

Snake Plant Leaves Yellow And Wrinkled
  • Underwatering:  This is the most likely culprit. So, increase the watering frequency but avoid overwatering. You can provide water 2 times in 10 days. And keep watering until the excess water drains out.
  • Excessive Light:  Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, causing them to wrinkle and turn yellow. So, move your plant to a location with bright indirect light.
  • Nutrient Deficiency:  Over time, a lack of fertiliser can deplete the soil of nutrients.  Fertilise your snake plant once per month during the growing season with a balanced fertiliser diluted.

Snake Plant Leaves Yellow And Falling Over

Leaves that are yellowing and falling over can be a sign of:

  • Severe Overwatering:  This can lead to root rot, causing your plant to lose its ability to take up water and nutrients.  The leaves will wilt and eventually fall over.  If caught early, you may be able to save your plant by repotting in fresh soil.
  • Physical Damage:  If the base of your plant is damaged or broken, it may not be able to support itself, and the leaves will wilt and fall.

Snake Plant Leaves Yellow And Soft

Yellow leaves that are also soft and mushy typically indicate:

  • Overwatering and Root Rot:  The excess moisture rots the roots. It  hinders their ability to function.  Feel the soil; if it is soggy, stop watering immediately. If necessary, consider repotting.
  • Bacterial or Fungal Disease:  These can also cause leaves to turn yellow and mushy.  Look for signs of infection and treat with a fungicide or bactericide specific to houseplants.

These same reasons can also be responsible for snake plant leaves turning brown and soft. 

How Do You Fix Yellow Leaves on Snake Plants?

Yellowing leaves is a common sign of expressing stress. Don’t worry there are ways to back your snake plant. Here is what you can do:

Once you’ve identified the culprit, you have to take corrective measures:

How Do You Fix Yellow Leaves on Snake Plants

Overcome Overwatering:

  1. Check the soil moisture by sticking your finger an inch deep. If you feel soggy, wait for it to dry out completely before watering again.
  2. In severe cases, especially if the leaves are mushy, you may need to repot:
    • Carefully remove your plant from the pot.
    • Discard the old soil properly.
    • Now inspect the roots. If you notice any dark, mushy roots prune away with sterilized shears.
    • Then repot in a pot with drainage holes using fresh, well-draining potting mix suitable for succulents or cacti.
    • Remember do not water again until the soil dries out completely.
  3. Stop watering immediately.

Overcome Underwatering:

Water thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Once a week is the ideal frequency. But you should increase the frequency during their growing seasons. Avoid overwatering afterwards, but ensure the soil doesn’t dry out completely between waterings.

Light Issues:

Move your plant to a location with indirect light to avoid too much light. Ensure your plants are getting 6-8 hours of indirect sunlight per day. 

On the other hand, provide brighter indirect light to fix low light issues. South-facing windows may be too harsh. Placing east or west-facing windows with filtered light can work.

Repotting Stress:

No need to panic. Mild yellowing within a few weeks is normal. Ensure the new pot has drainage holes and the potting mix is well-draining. You should also avoid overwatering during this adjustment period. Also, don’t fertilise during this time.

Nutrient Deficiency:

During the growing season (spring and summer), fertilize moderately with a balanced fertilizer diluted according to the product instructions.

Don’t overfertilize, as this can also damage the roots. It’s better to use compost. And fertilizing once per month during growing seasons is enough. 

Physical Damage:

No action required for minor cosmetic damage. You can make a fence around to prevent future damage. If the damage is severe and affects your plant’s stability, you may need to propagate healthy sections of the plant.

Observe your plant closely over the next few weeks.  New growth should appear, and the yellowing should subside. If the problem persists, revisit your diagnosis and adjust your care routine accordingly.

Important Tips:

  • Snake plants prefer warm temperatures between 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit (21-32 degrees Celsius). Avoid cold drafts or sudden temperature fluctuations.
  • Wipe dust off the leaves occasionally with a damp cloth to improve air circulation.
  • Snake plants are generally low-maintenance plants and don’t require frequent repotting. Repot only when the roots outgrow the pot or the potting mix breaks down.

By following these steps and providing proper care, you can get back your snake plant healthy, vibrant green self.

How Often Should I Water My Snake Plant To Prevent Yellowing Leaves?

The exact frequency of watering your snake plant depends on several factors. Including pot size, plant size, light levels, temperature, and humidity.

You have to adjust your watering habits to different conditions. Though snake plants are succulent, they can store water in their leaves.  On the other hand, they are sensitive to overwatering. That’s why you have to check the soil moisture before watering. 

How Often Should I Water My Snake Plant To Prevent Yellowing Leaves

If you have larger pots and mature plants,  you might water every 3-4 weeks during the growing season (Spring and Summer) and even less frequently in winter. Because these can take longer to dry out between waterings. Smaller pots and younger plants dry out faster and might need watering every 2-3 weeks during warm weather.

Place your pot in a brighter light and higher temperatures. Increase watering frequency slightly as these factors cause the soil to dry out faster. 2 times per 10 days is ideal. 

But reduce watering frequency in lower light and cooler temperatures. Because the plant’s growth slows down and needs less moisture.

You should follow these guidelines and pay attention to your specific plant’s needs. It will help you to establish a watering routine that prevents yellowing leaves and keeps your snake plant thriving.

Tips To Prevent Snake Plant From Yellowing

Prevention is better than cure. You obviously don’t want to see yellowing leaves on your snake plants. To prevent this problem, you have to be aware beforehand. You have to know the possible reasons that I explored in the article already. 

If you can follow the tips given below, you will be able to prevent yellowing leaves of your snake plant. 

  • Ensure the pot is not too large for your plant. Snake plants prefer snug conditions, and an excessively large pot can retain too much moisture.
  • Use a well-draining potting mix to prevent waterlogging. A mix formulated for succulents or cacti is often suitable.
  • Overwatering is a common cause of yellowing issues. Allow the soil to dry out between watering.
  • Snake plants tolerate low light conditions, but they do best in indirect, bright light. Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. Because this can scorch the leaves.
  • Snake plants prefer temperatures between 70-90°F (21-32°C). Avoid exposing them to extreme cold or drafts, as this can lead to yellowing.
  • Snake plants are not heavy feeders. Fertilise sparingly, usually in the spring and summer. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength.
  • Check the plant regularly for pests such as spider mites or mealybugs. These can affect the health of the plant and lead to yellowing. If pests are present, treat them promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
  • If you introduce a new plant to your collection, quarantine it for a few weeks to ensure it is free of pests and diseases before placing it near your snake plant.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Should I Remove Yellow Leaves From The Snake Plant?

Yes, it’s a good idea to remove yellow leaves from a snake plant. Yellow leaves are often a sign of overwatering or underwatering, or they may simply be old and nearing the end of their life cycle.

Can A Snake Plant Recover From Overwatering?

Yes, snake plants (Sansevieria) can potentially recover from overwatering, but it depends on the severity of the damage. Overwatering can lead to root rot, causing the plant to wilt, yellow, or develop mushy stems.

Can A Yellowing Leaf Turn Green Again?

No, once a leaf has started yellowing due to aging or stress, it cannot turn green again. Yellowing typically occurs when chlorophyll, the pigment responsible for the green color of leaves, breaks down. This process is irreversible.

Conclusion

Snake plant yellowing leaves can be a cause for concern. But with a little understanding, you can easily diagnose the issue. And also get your plant back on track.  I hope by now you get your answer. And if you wanna learn more about this then stay with plant trick.

Raina Trick

Written by

Raina Trick

Meet Rayna Trick: Your Indoor Plant Whisperer! With her roots in environmental science and a passion for exotic succulents, she’s the Green Thumb of the Year. Rayna’s here to be your plant companion, sharing her expertise and nurturing your green oasis at PlantTrick. Let’s make your indoor space bloom, one leaf at a time, together!

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